Time Machine as Primary Backup


Today’s Question: With reference to your latest eNewsletter: I currently use Apple’s Time Machine as my backup. Is that a good substitute for Goodsync?

Tim’s Quick Answer: I do not consider Time Machine to be an ideal backup solution in the context of recovering from a hard drive failure. Rather, I see Time Machine as an excellent tool for recovering files that have been accidentally deleted, as well as for transitioning to a new computer with minimal difficulty.

More Detail: Time Machine is a backup tool built into the Macintosh operating system, and with Time Machine it is very easy to maintain a backup of your data. However, in my view GoodSync is superior to Time Machine when it comes to recovering from a failed hard drive.

If you only backed up with Time Machine, recovering from a backup when a primary drive fails involves a recovery process that can require considerable time depending on the amount of data that had been on the drive that failed. With GoodSync or other synchronization backup solutions, recovery is as simple as either changing the drive letter (for Windows) or volume label (for Macintosh) so that the path to the backup drive matches the path to the failed drive.

Time Machine does make it easy (though not necessarily quick) to migrate your data from one computer to another computer. But to me the most valuable aspect of Time Machine is how easy it is to recover a file that has been accidentally deleted or otherwise lost.

For example, let’s assume you had an important file in the Documents folder on your computer. Three days ago, you accidentally deleted that file, but you didn’t realize it until today. With Time Machine you can navigate to the Documents folder, then navigate to a date three days ago, and then copy the “lost” file back to your Documents folder.

So, I highly recommend that Macintosh users employ Time Machine to backup their computer. But for backing up photos and other important data, I consider GoodSync to be a better solution.

Of course, when it comes to backing up your data, being paranoid can be a good thing. That’s why I use both GoodSync and Time Machine to backup my data, with each providing unique advantages.

If you’re interested in using GoodSync to backup your photos and other important data, you can get a discounted subscription to GoodSync for a limited time by using this link to get started: